Bringing Out the Dead

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

Bringing Out the Dead (Touchstone Movie)

“Bringing Out the Dead” is a dark drama film released in 1999, directed by Martin Scorsese and produced by Touchstone Pictures. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Joe Connelly and stars Nicolas Cage as Frank Pierce, a burned-out paramedic working the night shift in New York City.

Set against the backdrop of a gritty and chaotic urban environment, the film follows Frank as he navigates the intense and emotionally draining world of emergency medical services. He has been haunted by the ghosts of the patients he couldn’t save, and the constant exposure to death and suffering is taking a toll on his mental and emotional well-being.

As Frank struggles with sleep deprivation and the weight of his past failures, he forms a connection with a young woman named Mary Burke (played by Patricia Arquette), whose father he had unsuccessfully tried to save. This newfound relationship offers a glimmer of hope and redemption for Frank, as he strives to find meaning and purpose in his challenging and often overwhelming profession.

Throughout the film, viewers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as Frank encounters various traumatic incidents, from drug overdoses to accidents and violence, while trying to maintain his sanity. Martin Scorsese’s signature directing style and visual storytelling create a visceral and immersive experience for the audience, depicting the frenetic pace of life in the city and the emotional toll it takes on its inhabitants.

“Bringing Out the Dead” is a character-driven exploration of the human psyche, delving into themes of compassion, guilt, and the struggle to find solace in the midst of chaos. Nicolas Cage’s powerful performance as Frank Pierce earned critical acclaim, showcasing his ability to convey a complex and tormented character.

Although the film did not perform exceptionally well at the box office, “Bringing Out the Dead” has gained a cult following over the years, praised for its atmospheric cinematography, compelling storytelling, and strong performances. It remains a thought-provoking and visually arresting addition to Martin Scorsese’s filmography.

Additional Details


  • Nicolas Cage: Frank Pierce
  • Patricia Arquette: Mary Burke
  • John Goodman: Larry
  • Ving Rhames: Marcus
  • Tom Sizemore: Tom Wolls
  • Marc Anthony: Noel
  • Cliff Curtis: Cy Coates
  • Mary Beth Hurt: Nurse Constance
  • Aida Turturro: Nurse Crupp
  • Phyllis Somerville: Mrs. Burke
  • Sonja Sohn: Kanita
  • Michael K. Williams: Drug Dealer
  • Martin Scorsese: Voice of Male Dispatcher
  • Queen Latifah: Voice of Female Dispatcher


  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Producers: Barbara De Fina and Scott Rudin
  • Screenplay: Paul Schrader

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.